Implementing APRA Connect
Last updated: 18 December 2020
About APRA Connect
From September 2021, APRA is introducing a new data collection solution, APRA Connect, which will progressively replace Direct to APRA (D2A), and facilitate entities meeting other prudential obligations. More than 4,500 reporting entities currently submit data to APRA. Data collected by APRA under the Financial Sector (Collection of Data) Act 2001 is used for prudential supervision, statistical publications and shared with partner agencies.
APRA Connect will provide greater flexibility for collecting and submitting data, with new functionality and an easy-to-use interface. It will ensure both entities and APRA are well placed to continue to meet evolving regulatory needs. APRA Connect will enable APRA to collect more granular data into the future, strengthening our data-enabled decision-making and enabling enhanced data submission capabilities.
APRA Connect is a modern, efficient and flexible solution which will serve APRA and industry for years to come.
We are excited about APRA Connect and confident that the revised implementation approach is responsive to the impacts of the challenging COVID-19 environment and will facilitate a lower risk transition to the new solution.
Cross-industry Insights and Data
Summary of the implementation approach
- APRA Connect will go live at the end of September 2021 with a progressive cutover of regulatory data reporting to the new solution over the coming years.
- All entities will be responsible for maintaining entity information, such as contact details, responsible persons and related parties (including Banking Executive Accountability Regime (BEAR) reporting for Authorised Deposit-taking Institutions (ADIs)) on APRA Connect.
- The timing of regulatory data reporting commencing in APRA Connect will vary for each industry. APRA will progressively start new collections in APRA Connect in line with industry consultations.
- The first regulatory data collections to be introduced in APRA Connect at the September 2021 go live will be the Private Health Insurance (PHI) Reform (HRS 605.0) and Superannuation Data Transformation collections.
- All entities who submit Form 701 for intermediated insurance business will be required to use APRA Connect. The first submission will be due in APRA Connect from January 2022. Lodgement by email, fax or mail will not be accepted once APRA Connect is implemented.
- Direct to APRA (D2A) will continue to be used for most existing collections. This means that dual reporting systems will be in place for the medium term and any resubmissions for D2A-submitted returns must be made through D2A.
- Returns will be exclusively available on one system or the other and no new collections will be introduced to D2A.
- Once all data reporting has moved to APRA Connect, the D2A system will be retired.
To assist entities in their transition, APRA will make a test environment available from the end of June 2021 as a permanent feature. In response to industry feedback APRA will also be conducting a pilot in the external test environment for a small number of Superannuation entities. The pilot is expected to take place in April/May 2021.
The test environment will allow entities to become familiar with the APRA Connect and trial submission of entity information and regulatory data. Returns will be available in the test environment prior to the first reporting date that entities are required to submit them in APRA Connect. The test environment will also be used to support the design of new collections and APRA’s consultations with industry.
Find more about what this means for each industry.
Note for ADIs and RFCs: APRA has changed the implementation approach for APRA Connect and the existing ADI collections will transition at a later date. Current reporting will continue through D2A.
What benefits will APRA Connect deliver?
APRA Connect will provide a better and simpler user experience.
Easier to use – APRA Connect will have a modern, intuitive user interface and will enable more options for data uploads.
Less ongoing maintenance required – APRA Connect will be web-based and will not require additional software to be installed on a user’s machine, simplifying system maintenance.
Adaptable to future needs – APRA Connect will adapt as reporting requirements, data analytics and technology evolve, and will provide greater flexibility for automation of data submission.
Fit-for-purpose collection design
New collections will use broader and more granular data models that can be used by APRA and partner agencies to fulfil multiple data requirements. These models will require less aggregation and are designed to be more aligned to the industry’s underlying data structures. APRA Connect provides APRA with a platform that facilitates the development of these future collections. Submission methods will be made available that take into account the complexity of data.
For example, simple reporting requirements may still be fulfilled by simple submission methods, such as manually completing an online form or uploading a table based on a template. However, more complex reporting requirements, and larger data collections may be more appropriately reported as data files.
Managing implementation risks
As with all large-scale technology-related projects, APRA is committed to managing and mitigating risks. APRA has a risk management framework in place with assurance processes to ensure risks are considered and appropriate mitigation plans and contingencies are in place.
The implementation approach has been revised to take account of industry feedback and the impacts of COVID-19 on all industries, as well as data collection priorities such as Superannuation Data Transformation program and consideration of longer-term regulatory needs.